September 26th, 2007
05:57 PM ET
12 years ago

Biden's plan splitting up Iraq overwhelmingly passes Senate

Biden's Iraq plan recieived overwhelming support in the Senate Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Joe Biden has something to gloat about at Wednesday night's New Hampshire presidential debate.

The Deleware Democrat's amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill calling for a fundamental change of policy in Iraq passed the Senate overwhelmingly Wednesday, 75-23.

The non-binding resolution is based on Biden's long-talked about plan to divide Iraq into three regions based on its ethnic makeup - Sunni, Shia, and Kurd.

“Slowly but surely, we’re building a consensus in the Congress around a way forward in Iraq," Biden said after the vote. "That’s significant, because it’s the only real way to end this war.”

"Everyone agrees that there is no military solution in Iraq, only a political solution," he added. "That begs the question: so, what is your political solution? We have an obligation to answer that question and today, leaders from both parties answered with one voice."

Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, who is running for president on the Republican side, was a co-sponsor of the measure.

The resolution also calls on the Bush administration to convene an international conference to help Iraqis agree on a federalized system of government.

Among Biden's Democratic White House rivals in the Senate, Hillary Clinton and Chris Dodd voted for the measure while Barack Obama skipped the vote.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Iraq • Joe Biden
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Tony Nazar, Wilton, ME

    Apparently, Berzhinski is correct. We are a 19th colonial power now with the occupation of Iraq and decisions on the geographical borders and political future of that country being decided in Washington.

    Oh well. George W wants to go back to the 1890's – looks like he's succeeded.

    September 26, 2007 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  2. Mark D., Cape May NJ

    What a dumb plan. How do you think the American people would feel about a similar resolution dividing our country into ethnic regions?

    September 26, 2007 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  3. Joshua, Atlanta, GA

    This makes me sick to my stomach. Dividing up a country on ethnicity? Where is Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson? I have a platform they can preach on now! What kind of sick minded American can even think about passing a resolution like this or supporting our elected officials in it?

    September 26, 2007 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  4. Mike, NY

    I thought our representatives were supposed to, like, represent us, not Iraqis.

    I mean, I agree that the federalist system proposed by Biden could be very successful. But it's no business of our government; it's the business of the Iraqis. You can't preach about spreading freedom and self-governing/democracy and then tell another government how to handle their country (especially at the barrel of a hundred thousand US troops).

    September 26, 2007 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  5. ronnie - knoxville, tn.

    i disagree that there's no mil. solution in Iraq; does the term carpet-bomb man anything to you people ?

    September 26, 2007 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  6. Bruce, Charlotte, NC

    For all you nay-sayers out there regarding the Biden plan, I ask you this... Why is the US Military building walls dividing Sunni and Shia neighborhoods? Why does the IRAQI constitution have this solution imbedded within it? How many Sunni's have been pushed out of Shia neighborhoods? How many Shia have been pushed out of Sunni neighborhoods? Wake up America!! Biden's plan, albeit non-binding at the moment, is but a small piece of diplomacy that has been absolutely absent in this mess. At least he is doing something and trying to engage the diplomatic process. And for Seekster from Arlington who asked who are we to draw up another country's borders I have 2 responses; Re-take World History classes and, uh, didn't we invade a sovereign nation to start with? We did break it so we need to try to fix it (diplomatically, that is) as best as possible. You can not force democracy on a people that either don't understand it or don't want it. Last point... Biden appears to speaking honestly to the American people. He's got my vote at the moment.

    September 26, 2007 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  7. Laura - Tulsa, OK

    Barack Obama abstained from voting on something he knew was politically important – Iraq.

    What does this tell us? Barack can't abstain from saying where he stands on issues if he is President,can he? So he expects to slip in the way he did in Illinois – on a vague, non-committal face.

    Memo to Barack: you might want to let voters know where you stand on important issues and not expect them to usher you in as a blank canvas. That's dangerous, deceptive and wrong.

    September 26, 2007 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  8. Kevin S., Beloit, WI

    The borders of present-day Iraq were arbitrarily drawn by the British Empire after the Ottoman Empire crumbled (which was less than a hundred years ago). Of course, this was done with no regard to the cultural differences among the people living within these borders. The main reason there was civil stability during most of that time is because the country had been held together by a dictator. Now, Iraqis are free to let their divisions be known. Does it look to you like they want to peacefully coexist as one nation?

    Thank God for Joe Biden. He has the experience and intellect this country, nay, this WORLD, needs!

    September 27, 2007 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  9. FT Ottsville, Pa

    Love Biden and he's the only Dem that has his head put on straight. Like this idea and then they divide the oil by three. This could work.

    September 27, 2007 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  10. George, Billerica, Mass.

    Ron, TX, it is precisely the fact that the vote was non-binding that makes Obama's absence striking. Surely he had an opinion on the question, one way or another. He's running for the presidency. It is political suicide for him to miss any vote related to the biggest issue of the time. As a member of Congress, voting is the only proof you can offer of where you stand. He just made a huge blunder.

    September 27, 2007 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  11. Jackie, Defiance, OH

    I really really like this guy. He is intelligent, experienced, straight-forward, and seems to be a lot more honest and sincere that any other candidate. I hope that when it comes time to vote, people focus more on him. My gut feeling is with this guy and the smart decisions he has made only validate that. I really will cry if Hillary gets elected. And as far as this bill is concerned, its a great idea, but they are going to squabble about the oil for sure. As some areas are going to be better off for that reason than others so im sure there are some kinks that would need to be worked out first. But it seems like this might be something that could work. At least he's making a suggestion that makes sense. Unlike Richardson-who says that "oh im gonna pull ALL the troups out by the end of my first year in office" BLAH BLAH BLAH yah whatever your just trying to get the anti-war votes. And no one else is dumb enough to make that commitment because they dont know what they are getting into. Isnt that funny, just after we heard that President Bush was telling Hillary Clinton -indirectly-that she better not jump into anything because she doesnt know that the view is gonna be from behind his desk? Interesting isnt it?

    September 27, 2007 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  12. bukky, Baltimore, MD


    It's not do-able. This is exactly the kind of egomaniacal BS that causes people to hate this country.

    An outside nation that invaded a soveriegn entity without provocation is NOW going to unilaterally divide the country into three. GREAT PLAN, and as we all know the US's involvement in the Middle East as alway worked out... Really... look at all the success we had.


    September 27, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  13. Shola, Crawfordsville IN

    This is absolutely ludacris; first we thrown the country into chaos and now we would like to divide it. Shame on "US". Why don't we divide every freaking country according to our own map and then divide the United States into red and blue state.

    September 27, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. LandoftheFree

    To all those who are criticizing Joe Biden's Iraq plan, what is the Iraq plan of the candidate you support?
    - Anthony Palmer, Columbia, SC

    Freedom Anthony.
    ie.., Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The same as you and I. Its for them to decide, we're just helping them gain that opportunity.

    Seems quite funny that the dems want to make decisions for the Iraqi’s now that they are no longer oppressed, as if their political performance for us has been any better.
    Silly gooses. What are they thinking..

    September 27, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. Reality Chick, Kittredge, Colorado

    This is amusing. Everyone here is assuming that Iraq is a sovereign nation, that they have even an iota of say in their fate or governance.

    An 'Imperial President' cannot be imperial without an empire, people.

    Iraq, like so many subjugated countires before it, is now an American colony and what we say, goes.
    Bush and his band of war criminals will decide, in the end, how much ersatz autonomy they will allow Iraq to play at. Iraq's sovereinty ended that day the first boots hit the ground.

    September 27, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Wow..."Biden's plan"....but....if you read it – "Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, who is running for president on the Republican side, was a co-sponsor of the measure"....I mean all the teeth that a non-binding measure has....I personally would toss both Biden and Brownback well as anyone who voted for it....while the concept is sound...its also not the place of the senate to waste time voting on non-binding CSPAN sometime to see why the House and the Senate are broken....

    September 27, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. Whit, Dallas

    Before all the naysayers freak about splitting Iraqi up into regions, do your homework on how that country was formed in the first place. The people in that region – shia's, sunni's and Kurds- had no choice with the formation of Iraq- do you know which country created it and when? Find that out before you go off the deep end thinking these ethnic groups are united in the name of their country.

    September 27, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. Chip Celina OH

    Three or four people on here have made my day.

    Yes, Joe Biden was definitely the class of the field in last night's debate.

    The plan has worked effectively in recent history.

    The Kurds would definitely agree, they've been fighting for a homeland for decades since theirs was taken away. Anyone looking for info on that just Google PKK.

    The Democrats are making a sore mistake if they put Hillary ahead of Biden. He didn't claim 'executive privilege' on any of the questions in the debate as did The Frontrunner and didn't even flip-flop on the baseball question.

    He, Biden and Richardson are the guys that can and should play the experience card. It trumps just saying it.

    Have a great day,

    September 27, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. r schier norwalk,ct

    Anyone who knows Iraq well enough, knows there really isn't, nor has
    been an "Iraqi" people. They have
    been segragating and battling amongst
    themselves back to the beginning of
    time, and the neo-morons either were
    totally in the dark, or simply refused
    to acknowledge this, in their pre-meditated and phsycotic extreme need
    to remove Hussein (which among a few
    other reasons was solely done to restore Daddy Bush's honor). Either
    split it up, or GET OUT. No action
    coupled with just staying there, will
    perpetuate this equation throught eternity.....

    September 27, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. ErinM, Ft.Lee, NJ

    What's with all the comments asking " why should we tell some other country how to run things?" Have any of you actually read this legislation? It reads, "only if the Iraqi people want it." We're not forcing anything on them. Do your homework before commenting on a makes you look smarter.

    September 28, 2007 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
  21. Mark, Akron OH

    What about this? We should pull everyone out of Iraq and into Afghanistan to finish what was started there. Let the inevitable civil war happen in Iraq. When the dust clears from that go back in and start over with a real plan and people who may be truly ready for the plan.

    September 28, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
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